A woman’s pelvis holds a set of muscles shaped somewhat like a bowl. They act like a sling to support your bladder, bowel, uterus, and rectum. When these muscles are tight, you may experience pelvic pain. When they aren’t strong enough, your internal organs aren’t supported well, and you could suffer problems such as urinary or fecal incontinence and organ prolapse.
Pelvic floor therapy helps loosen or strengthen these muscles, depending on your symptoms and problems. Pelvic floor therapy is effective and helps millions of women reduce symptoms and regain control over their troublesome conditions.
Signs of pelvic floor dysfunction
Pelvic floor muscles can be too weak or too strong. If they’re too weak, they don’t provide enough support, and you might suffer organ prolapse or back pain. You may also have urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, or an inability to hold in gas. When the muscles are overly tight, you may find sexual intercourse painful, have trouble initiating urination, or experience generalized pelvic pain.
About pelvic floor therapy
Pelvic floor therapy can resolve symptoms such as urinary incontinence, painful intercourse, and other symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction. Depending on your problem, the therapy can encourage stronger, more supportive muscles or help relax muscles that are overly tense and short. The therapy involves teaching you exercises to help you build strength and learn how to release short, tight muscles. Specially trained therapists can also perform manipulations of your muscles to help them relax.
Kegel exercises require you to contract and relax the muscles of your pelvic floor. Kegels can help strengthen weak pelvic floor muscles or teach you to relax overly tight ones. To perform a Kegel, squeeze your vaginal area and pelvic floor for two to three seconds, and then release. Do up to five sets of 10 repetitions per day. You can do Kegels just about anywhere – sitting at your desk, driving, or while watching television.
Kegels increase your strength and awareness of pelvic floor muscles, so you have more pleasurable sexual encounters and reduced pain, if you do suffer it, during sex. Kegels can improve some forms of urinary incontinence, namely stress incontinence, which is when you leak a little urine as you laugh or sneeze.
Kegels can also be an asset as a conservative treatment for pelvic organ prolapse, which describes a condition in which your bladder or uterus bulges into your vagina.
You may also benefit from lengthening and stretching exercises if your pelvic floor muscles are overly tight – this type of therapy can reduce cramping and sexual discomfort.
Pelvic pain at any time isn’t normal, even in menopause. Early treatment helps resolve pelvic muscle dysfunction conservatively, before your nerve receptors become sensitized and the issue becomes more difficult to treat. At Women’s Pelvic Surgery of North Jersey, we offer pelvic floor therapy along with many other interventions to help resolve issues such as urinary incontinence, painful intercourse, and organ prolapse. If you suffer from pain that suggests a pelvic floor dysfunction, call our office, or schedule a consultation using this website.